Andy Warhol 'Social Media' photography exhibition shows his passion for cameras

Andy Warhol exhibition
(Image credit: © Christopher Makos)

Best known for his brightly colored pop art pieces, Andy Warhol’s creative endeavors didn’t stop at canvas and paints. Although he isn’t as well known for his photographic pursuits as he is for his paintings, Warhol was also a dab hand behind the lens. Some of his most striking work will be on display in 'Andy Warhol & Photography: A Social Media', an exhibition taking place at the Art Gallery of South Australia. 

Throughout the Seventies and Eighties, Warhol was often found with a camera in hand. Whether he was working in his studio taking photos of Farrah Fawcett and Debbie Harry, or documenting his close circle of friends like John Lennon, Liza Minnelli, Elizabeth Taylor and Jackie O, Warhol’s work captured a snapshot of his life and that of his celebrity cohorts. 

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Warhol’s approach to photography, like his art, was outside the box. He was always looking for ways to reinvent the wheel, whether that was through taking portraits using a photo booth, capturing friends partaking in everyday beauty rituals, or painting one of Hollywood’s most famous faces in the most unlikely of colors. 

Liza Minnelli, 1978, New York, Polaroid (Image credit: © Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. ARS/Copyright Agency)

From March 03 - May 14 2023, Warhol’s photographic work will be on display at the Art Gallery of South Australia alongside an extensive program of talks, live music and tours put together by the gallery's senior curator, Julie Robinson. 

Flying in from New York to offer some personal insight into Warhol’s life is his longtime friend and fellow photographer, Christopher Makos. He will be reminiscing about the days they spent together at Broadway's legendary Studio 54 theater and nightclub, the hours that passed in Warhol’s studio, as well as how the artist always had a camera by his side. 

In a gallery debut, on the first Friday of every month, visitors can enjoy a themed program inspired by Warhol's life and art and take part in interactive activities based on 15 minutes of fame, saints and sinners, and into the limelight. 

Debbie Harry, 1980, New York, Polaroid (Image credit: © Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. ARS/Copyright Agency)

Other highlights during the exhibition include a talk on Andy Warhol and the Queer Gaze, An Evening with Henry Gillespie (Warhol’s famous Australian babysitter) and Supersaturate – an after-hours event just for teens aged 13-17 looking to walk away with a memento of the night. 

Despite living many years before the age of smartphones and social media, Warhol arguably was one of the world’s first influencers – and his collection of Polaroids and prints is his tactile Instagram account, where he captured the mundane and magical moments he shared with friends. 

Although the event is ticketed, with prices starting at AU$10 for a child and going up to AU$25 for an adult, all the talks, workshops and events taking place as part of the exhibition are free to attend. Click here for details and ticket info.

Self-portrait no.9, 1986, New York, synthetic polymer paint and screenprint on canvas (Image credit: © Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. ARS/Copyright Agency)

Andy Warhol, 1986, New York, gelatin-silver photograph (Image credit: Andy Warhol / National Gallery of Australia, Canberra)

Bianca Jagger at Halston’s house, New York, no. 1 from the portfolio Photographs, 1976 (Image credit: © Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. ARS/Copyright Agency)

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.